10 Intentions for De-colonizing My White Mind


10 Intentions for De-colonizing My White Mind

10 Intentions for De-colonizing My White Mind


To say that we have a lot of work ahead of us would be an understatement. With many progressive whites finally taking a stake in de-colonization work I wanted to share a few intentions that help ground me in the process. Please leave feedback in the comments section, I would like for this to be an ever evolving document.


1.     I am not doing this to save anyone. I am doing this because my liberation is bound up with everyone else’s.


3.     Understanding that my perspective is limited is key to expanding it.

4.     I must continue to do my own personal healing. It would be counter-productive to try to solve larger cultural issues without also working on my own personal trauma, triggers, biases and experiences.

5.     I will be wrong, often. Understanding implicit bias is not the dominant cultural tendency, it takes work to become aware of and un-learn these biases and the process is almost guaranteed to be uncomfortable. I am willing to be uncomfortable and to work through my own discomfort. Anything that makes me uncomfortable could hold important information for transforming inherent bias.

6.     There is no finish line and no silver bullets. Real change takes time.

7.     No one is responsible for my experience but me. I am going to take care of myself while taking responsibility for my experience and actions.

8.     Learning by listening, “A wise woman learns more from a fool than a fool from a wise woman”.

9.     My intentions will often not match up with the effect of my actions and I willing to adjust my approach based on feedback about those effects. My good ideas aren’t necessarily the best ideas, or what is needed in the moment. Just because I want to help doesn’t mean I am being helpful.

10. I will continue to ask questions. If my question is not answered in the way that I would like I will take a closer look at my question. No one owes me any explanations or answers.


Please leave your resources in the comments section so that this might be a living document of relevance for this work that is always evolving.



Social Justice Training Institute

Opportunities For White People in the Fight for Racial Justice

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Here’s to an evolutionary 2017!

<3 Abakis



Is it My Umbrella That Keeps the Rain at Bay?


Is it My Umbrella That Keeps the Rain at Bay?

Drawing by Abakis

Drawing by Abakis

Is it My Umbrella That Keeps the Rain at Bay?



this is my umbrella,

given to me at birth,

a tool or a weapon to be used,

a blessing in a cursed world,

a thin veil from the heavy flooding all around me.

My fragile temporary protection from the rising sea.



Pakistani Jet Lag, Midnight Cowboy Coffee

Sunny, Ali, Tanzeem, and Zee making cowboy coffee.&nbsp;Dosti Day 1, 1:00 am.

Sunny, Ali, Tanzeem, and Zee making cowboy coffee. Dosti Day 1, 1:00 am.

The first hours of Dosti are already amazing...

At 1:00 am, after 32+ hours of traveling, the five Pakistani musicians are still down to head into the kitchen to make cowboy coffee. 

I convince Iftikar (Ali) that Coffee Mate already has sugar in it and he makes fun of me for burning the toast. Nutella however opens a whole new world.

Tanzeem is a barber in his home country, but he also plays the flute, the harmonium, the tablas and sings. I ask him to cut my hair before we part ways and he agrees.

They ask me how to turn off the pilot lights on the gas range stove so we don't burn the kitchen down, then they clean every inch of the countertops. I leave my coffee out for a few minutes and Ali washes the cup, then promises to remake me an entire batch when he finds out it was mine. I make fun of them for being afraid of rattlesnakes and tell them that a crocodile is going to come into their room and eat them if they leave the door open.

Zee (aka Slow Spin) is perpetually in orbit between Berlin, New York, Pakistan doing an MFA in performance studies and music. She and I connect about our recent encounters with loved ones passing away and the dire beauty of this residency to call us into our fullest musical manifestation in life.

Mohsin shows us pictures of his four month old baby on his phone. Once everyone has settled in their separate rooms we all congregate, unsure of what to do with our new found privacy. My heart breaks for America when Mohsin confesses that he feels a little uneasy: he has never slept alone before. He sneaks into Tanzeem's room that night.





Whenever your in BALTIMORE....

Wayne Coyne, Detail:&nbsp;King's Mouth  2015, Mixed media installation, Courtesy of the artist, Photo by Dan Meyers.

Wayne Coyne, Detail: King's Mouth

2015, Mixed media installation, Courtesy of the artist, Photo by Dan Meyers.


Baltimore boasts the American Visionary Art Museum: filled with non-professional art that will make your heart spin. No one featured in this museum ever went to art school.

Go for the gift shop alone: and prepare to get geeky over trashy art-ifacts. We paid way too much for the classic chattering teeth toy.

This season's exhibit (Winter 2016) features the King's Mouth, made by Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips: a 10 foot enterable head that engulfs you in an auditory enhanced LED light show.

The AVAM is also pretty awesome for their goals: 

  1. Expand the definition of a worthwhile life.

  2. Engender respect for and delight in the gifts of others.

  3. Increase awareness of the wide variety of choices available in life for all ... particularly students

  4. Encourage each individual to build upon his or her own special knowledge and inner strengths

  5. Promote the use of innate intelligence, intuition, self-exploration, and creative self-reliance.

  6. Confirm the great hunger for finding out just what each of us can do best, in our own voice, at any age.

  7. Empower the individual to choose to do that something really, really well.

Truly a unique treasure, please support the museum if you can and check it out next time you are in Baltimore. Kinetic fans will also not be disappointed. 



Thank you Sea-Tac

Thank you Seattle airport!

I am so proud of this state...

...friendly TSA staff who ask "how many strings do you have?" then tell me I should apply to play at the airport. After a relatively painless security check I run into familiar faces in the band Maracujá playing in the main atrium: friends of the Centrum and the Port Townsend music scene. They are playing Brazillian tunes to the masses of floppy hats (they're coming back!). 

So... When did the Seattle airport get buskers?! (Apparently in 2012) This is awesome, and the possibilities start rolling through my head: ferry busker spots? Elevator music (Literally)? Even on-flight performances would probably turn a profit by making the flight feel like a nightclub and therefor encouraging in-flight alcohol consumption.

Speaking of which... I will leave you now to return to my $7 Fremont IPA, veggie wrap and sweet Motown cover jams from another busker Darius Willrich. Good job Seattle!

Good job Seattle!





For the next five weeks Abakis will be collaboratively creating music, going on tour and recording music with musicians from India, Pakistan, and the U.S. through the Dosti Music Residency! 


See more at www.dostimusic.org and sign up for email updates sent to you fresh off the press:


New Video: Abakis in Prospect Park


New Video: Abakis in Prospect Park

New Abakis Video: 

Had a blast talking to strangers and recording a solo version of
"Home" in this sweet little portfolio piece shot in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
by Ashby Parsons. Special Thanks Taylor Hand.

"I'm on Youtube!" (...or vimeo... whichever!)

Hope ya'll can come across the river from Brooklyn for the

Illustration by Anna Wagner (www.annawagner.com)

Illustration by Anna Wagner (www.annawagner.com)




Release Show Featuring Local Food and Wine!

Friends and Family, 

             I am so excited to celebrate the I'm One Too album release along with New York's Local Harvest! (Click here to attend!)

           As a U.S. traveller, a major thread of connection to the people and places that I have called home has been local, organic FOOD!

           I remember a west coast road trip with my dear friend Julianne Panagacos** (the Official Food Mama for the Release Show!).  We would make our pitstops at CO-OP's and Farmer's Markets in every state, tasting the season's bounty as we headed south. Check out Julianne's latest organizing project for Activist Rights: HERE!

The Farms:
           The "I'm One Too" Album Release show will be sponsored by NY's first farm-to-neighborhood CSA Program Farmigo, and feature produce from Stokes Family FarmVan Houten Farms, not to mention wine from Great Frogs Vineyard! Special thanks to MOOD Music and Food for their support! 

           Come share the harvest as we celebrate the completion of this album in the historic setting of Judson Memorial Church! 

In Thanksgiving and Gratitude,


Click here to get you (or someone you love) a seat at the table!
Not around then? Fear not! Tune in live to watch the show! 
Stay Tuned for details!   

**Food Mama Julianne's credits include Secret Café's, Farm to Table Fundraising Events, and founding the Flaming Eggplant, The Evergreen State College's first student run café.

Photography credit: Jeff Nicklason. nicklasonphoto.com.